I’m sold.

Posted: November 20, 2011 by ryanlecocq in Off-topic

Zelda: Skyward Sword is amazing.  Goes to show once again that no matter how bad Nintendo corporate gets, Miyamoto’s team still delivers great games.  I had some very large doubts going into another Zelda game after my overall disappointment with Twilight Princess.  I was worried that big N would take the same cut and paste (and paste and paste) method they applied there and use it on the Wind Waker.

I was right and I was wrong.  Skyward Sword does feel like the next step from Wind Waker, but it’s more like it’s the true sequel.  I get the impression now that Twilight Princess was something they had to make to launch the Wii and they just went that way because everyone was bitching for a realistic Zelda.  It wasn’t the game they wanted to make and it really showed.  Now that the series is back on track in the direction the developers want it to go, Link is back in peak form.

It’s charming, epic, frequently challenging and thrillingly designed just like a Zelda game should be.  There’s this feeling that I connect only with Zelda games, where when descending from the overworld into a dungeon, I feel like I’m entering the lost world.  Like I’ve crossed the boundary into the realm of the old gods.  That feeling is fully intact here with some well designed dungeons featuring some truly imaginative puzzles.

The best part so far is something that Twilight Princess also lacked: the ability to be enjoyed equally by someone who’s 5 and someone who’s 50.  Twilight Princess seemed to be aimed squarely at teenagers with it’s angsty, dimmed world and flat characters.  I’m glad to report that humor and good writing have made their triumphant return.  Overall, I’m lovin’ it.  Review soon.

QUICK EDIT:  No your TV isn’t broken.  That strange effect on your screen is the “pastel filter” used on the game’s textures.  It’s used directly instead of Depth of Field, as you’ll notice it only appears on distant and very close objects.  If you look at character’s faces or a texture near Link, you will notice there is no effect.  It’s pretty cool looking, though like everything on Wii it suffers on an HD set.  Basically makes distant objects look like they are painted.  I think once again Nintendo is on to something here.  Much like we saw a lot of cel-shaded games after Wind Waker, I wouldn’t be surprised if the pastel filter makes many returns.

Update 12/7

So I got waylaid by other games for a bit and am just getting back to Skyward Sword today.  When you first “get” the controls in Skyward Sword, you feel like you just turned from whiny Prince Adam to He-Man, master of the universe.  The only gripe I have so far in this game is that for me, this happened less than an hour into the game and it seems like the developers expected me to be struggling for the first half of the game.  Once you have the knack of swinging the sword at any angle and thrusting at targets, it takes a while for the game to demand much more.  There are some really cool change-ups to the gameplay after the first three dungeons, so I’m hoping for some intense challenge ahead.

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